A trustee and fiduciary for a number of employer pension plans was indicted on April 10 for 17 counts of wire fraud and 14 counts of theft.
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced that Matthew Hutcheson, 41, of Eagle, Idaho, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise. Hutcheson was arrested by the FBI at his home on April 11.
The indictment alleges that Hutcheson was a trustee and fiduciary for the G Fiduciary Retirement Income Security Plan, National Retirement Security Plan 401(k) and the Retirement Security Plan and Trust. It accuses Hutcheson of perpetrating schemes to defraud the plans and misappropriate more than $5 million of plan assets.
“Pension plan fraud represents not only a violation of the law but a betrayal of trust,” said Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration. “Those who provide services for workers saving for retirement must serve the best interests of those workers. The Department of Labor will continue to pursue all possible avenues to root out fraud in employee benefits management. In this case, and many others, we are pleased to team with the Justice Department to aggressively investigate fraudulent conduct aimed at stealing workers’ hard-earned retirement savings.”
According to the indictment, from January 2010 through December 2010, Hutcheson misappropriated approximately $2 million of G Fiduciary Retirement Income Security Plan assets for his personal use. On 12 occasions, Hutcheson directed the plan’s record keeper to make wire transfers of plan assets from an account at Charles Schwab to bank accounts controlled by Hutcheson and to other bank accounts for his personal benefit.
The indictment alleges that Hutcheson used these assets to extensively renovate his home, to repay personal loans, to purchase luxury automobiles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles and for other personal expenses. When plan record keepers and others requested information about the location and status of the plan assets, Hutcheson allegedly misrepresented that they were safely invested.